Well the weather here has certainly turned, I think winter has officially arrived in Scotland as I pull on my gloves, hat and scarf. All day the air has been cold and heavy with smoky fog.
It definitely is time for casseroles, ragouts and stews, such as this one. Its bountiful in winter root vegetables and rib-sticking red lentils.
Although spiced, this is not a blow your head off 'spicy hot' stew. Its not curried in flavour either, just body warming, perfect for the weather.
You can easily serve this stew with mashed potatoes, but I actually fancied some more herby dumplings which of course I had to shape individually into flower petals. I think if I had guests, it would have been cool to have brought the casserole pot to the table, but hey instead I had myself to amuse - sometimes I'm easily pleased.
The red lentils in this stew make this post
suitable for My Legume Love Affair 41, the current edition of the
popular, legume-centered event created by Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook, and
hosted this month by Simona of briciole. I am also sharing a bowl of this stew with Laura who is hosting Just Another Meatless Monday #83 at hey what's for dinner mom?
Fellow blogger Ajax made a variation of this stew recently, please follow this link; and so did The Cookie Jar, please go by and check them out!
Spiced Root Vegetable And Lentil Stew
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
700g mixed root vegetables – swede, celeriac, parsnips, potatoes, turnips and carrots, peeled and chopped in even size bites
175g red lentils
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g x tinned tomatoes, chopped
700ml vegetable stock
salt and black pepper to taste
fresh parsley, minced
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onions until
tender, then stir in the spices and allow to infuse for a few minutes, before adding
in the root vegetables and celery. Sauté for about 5 minutes, without browning,
then stir in the lentils and garlic and cook for a few minutes further. Mix in the tomatoes and stock, put a lid on
the pan and leave it to simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until the
vegetables are tender and the lentils are soft. Stir in the minced
parsley. Adapted from Rose Elliot's Complete Vegetarian Cookbook.
For the optional parsley dumplings
Makes around 8 - 12
110g self-raising flour
50g vegetable suet
of minced fresh parsley
Cold water to combine
The dumplings need to be added 15 minutes before the stew is ready.
In a bowl add flour, vegetables suet, parsley and seasoning to taste. Add
enough water to combine and make a firm, not sticky dough. Then with floured
hands, break the dough
into 8 – 12 pieces and roll them into rough round dumplings. Add them gently to
the stew, pushing them down into the liquid. Simmer gently for 15 minutes or
until the dumplings have doubled in size.